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The largest charity caring for Scots affected by stroke, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, are calling for the provision of thrombectomies in Scotland’s hospitals to be made an urgent priority.
The First Minister confirmed in Parliament today that it will be Spring next year before we see a plan for a thrombectomy service.
The charity has warned that such a delay in implementing a service could see hundreds of stroke patients left with more significant disabilities. It is estimated that 600 stroke patients in Scotland may be left more disabled by a stroke this year if they miss out.
Thrombectomies are used to physically remove blood clots from the brain, and can significantly reduce the damage caused.
Jane-Claire Judson, Chief Executive, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said:
“It is extremely concerning that we are not seeing more urgent action from the Scottish Government to bring thrombectomy back to Scotland’s hospitals.
Stroke patients in Scotland are being told to wait until Spring 2019 just for a plan to be drafted. That means that more stroke patients will be left with avoidable disabilities this year because urgent action hasn’t been taken. We don’t have time to lose.”
“Every day in Scotland 25 people will have a stroke, and it’s unacceptable that their chances of recovery are more limited than people elsewhere in the UK. In 2017, 600 people should have had access to a thrombectomy, but only 13 benefited. The Scottish Government should take control of the situation as a matter of urgency. “
“The Scottish Government needs to resource this service as soon as possible, provide a deadline by which thrombectomies will be available and have a clear plan for what patients can do in the meantime.”
“Patients need access to this life-changing procedure right now. Until that service is up and running people will still miss out on the best possible treatment to limit the impact of their stroke.”
Robert Baldock 53 from East Lothian is a stroke survivor and is one of the few people in Scotland who received a thrombectomy last year. He said:
“It is really upsetting that this is going to take so long. I consider myself lucky that I was able to be treated. If I suffered my stroke today I may not be here to share my story.
“Stroke patients need this procedure right now.”
Media enquiries: Katy Aitken, Press Officer, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland tel: 0131 225 6963 email: Katy.firstname.lastname@example.org